How I Built A Successful Blog And Made It My Job (Ep. 11)

College Info Geek PodcastWhenever someone subscribes to my newsletter, they get a confirmation message with a quick thank-you, a nice picture of my mug, and a simple request: I ask them to tell me what their biggest college goals are, and if there’s anything I can do to help them out.

I get a lot of different responses to this question, and I use these responses to plan out new content for the site. When I have time, I also try to personally answer any specific questions I’m asked as well.

One of the most common things I read is:

“I’d like to start my own successful blog. How did you go about building College Info Geek?” – ambitious students (possibly you?)

Now, it’s no secret that I think every student should have their own blog, so I’m very happy to receive and answer questions about building one.

That why today I’ve decided to record a podcast all about the history behind College Info Geek. In this episode, I cover:

  • How and why I started College Info Geek
  • The catalysts for the blog’s success
  • How I’m able to earn a full-time income from running this site
  • My most important tips for student wanting to start their own successful blogs

Building College Info Geek has been quite a long journey, and there’s a lot to tell about its progression. Hopefully this episode will give you at least a partial look at the process of building a successful blog 🙂

As promised in the episode, here are a few screenshots showing the major design stages of College Info Geek. As you can see, it wasn’t perfect in the beginning – not even close.

CIG Version 1

Version 1

CIG Version 2

Version 2

CIG Version 3

Version 3

Astute readers may notice that the current design is actually just a refinement of the theme used in Version 3, so I’ll just call this Version 3.5 😉

The point is that – like with anything else – building CIG has been a long, iterative process. This is true for every aspect of the site – my ability as a writer, the design, the quality of the site’s code, the size of my audience, etc.

In the beginning, everything was small and unrefined. Only through consistent effort over time has the current version of the site become a reality.

As I mention in this episode, this is one of the main keys to success. If you’re starting your own project, your success will be dependent on constant, focused effort over time.

Items mentioned in this podcast:

There are a lot of people I have to thank for helping me get this far. In addition to the shout-outs in this episode, I’d like to link to my thank-you page in order to recognize those people.

Things you should do right after listening:

Thanks for listening!

If you’d like to start your own blog and have any questions that I didn’t answer in this episode, feel free to ask me anything on Twitter!

If you have a friend who could benefit from this podcast, you should share it with them as well!

Thomas Frank is the geek behind College Info Geek. After paying off $14K in student loans before graduating, landing jobs and internships, starting a successful business, and travelling the globe, he's now on a mission to help you build a remarkable college experience as well. Get the Newsletter | Twitter | Instagram

Hey there! Please note that some links in the article may be referral links, meaning that if you buy something through them, I'll earn a commission (at no extra cost to you). This helps to support CIG, but please don't buy anything unless you truly believe it'll benefit you! You can learn more here. Thank you :)

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  1. Awesome!

    I am a web developer and I am an expert on WordPress.
    I’ve been started my on blog, but it’s not about programming or wordpress. It’s just how improve life.

    It’s in Portuguese.

    Thanks a lot Thomas you have become one of my mentors. =)

  2. Wow awesome podcast – i was already following you on YouTube (found you through tumblr) & when i saw your blog….wow! you have such helpful content – thank you very much for keeping up the work *-*
    i wanna ask sth: i didn´t quite get how much time it took you till you were read by a decent number of people…i started out about half a year on instagram to get some followers first & its so hard to get attention…and i lately started by blog ( just on for now ) & nobody is coming & reading…i feel so overwhelmed by all the other people who already established themselves & their brands on that topic..i really do have nice ideas which haven´t been used & have a unique twist on them…but i need engaging followers for that so it works…now it is so weird it feels like i am talking with myself….
    Maybe you have a few tips for me…would appreciate it very much 🙂
    Greetings from Germany

  3. Thank you Thomas for this wonderful podcast!

    I believe that this shows us that successful bloggers don’t just become successful that easily.
    You’ve done your work and now it’s paying off.

    I hope that people will say the same about me one day!

    Great work, keep it coming 🙂

  4. You and your blog are my inspiration for my own blogging “career” (hopefully one day I can say that without the quotes). Bookmarking this and will give this podcast a listen once I have some free time.

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